Dubai: IPL 2020 started on 19th September with a bang, with the opening match between Chennai Superkings and Mumbai Indians. Match predictions are being put out by everyone including cricket pundits and betting sites. Chennai has reached at least the playoffs in every season of IPL they have played in, while the Mumbai Indians have managed to win the trophy more number of times than any other team.
The nature of the format of IPL is such that it pushes players to give out their maximum, with the majority of the games being too close to call. This drives the players to compete fiercely and has resulted in pretty intense rivalries in the past. Here we look at some of the contests to watch out for during the upcoming edition of the tournament.
Rohit Sharma vs MS Dhoni
While there is no doubt that Dhoni has been one of the most successful captains for India, when it comes to the IPL too, captain cool has had an enviable record. He has the record for the most number of wins as a captain in IPL history, with 104 wins in 174 matches and a winning percentage of 60.11%. Rohit Sharma is a far number two with 60 wins in 104 matches as a captain.
While there is no chance for Rohit Sharma to overtake Dhoni in the number of matches won, at least during this season, he will be looking forward to extending his lead by winning the 5th title against 3 won by Dhoni.
Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo
Pollard has been an integral part of the Mumbai Indians ever since he joined the league in 2010, and has been a part of all four title wins. Bravo, on the other hand, started his journey with the MI in 2008 but has been a part of the CSK squad since 2011. Both the players know each other well as they played for the same team back in West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. It was in fact on Bravo's recommendation, that MI signed Pollard for the team as the former's replacement.
Both the players are great all-rounders, showing extreme athleticism on the field, saving runs for their teams and latching on to some match-winning catches. In the past too, both the players have engaged in some friendly banter during matches, and this year looks no different
Glenn Maxwell vs Ravichandran Ashwin
Their rivalry started back in 2013 when Australia was touring India. During the T20I in Rajkot, Maxwell ripped through the bowling of Ashwin, who is usually very reliable and economical, and scored 18 runs off 5 deliveries.
The rivalry was furthered in 2014 when Maxwell played probably one of the best innings of his IPL career. He propelled KXIP to victory against CSK, by putting up 231 runs on the board. Ashwin was belted for 38 runs off his 2 overs. With Maxwell back in the Punjab squad, and back to his favorite hunting ground in the UAE, he will surely like to have a go again at Ashwin, who plays for Delhi Capitals.
Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins
The costliest buy of the 2020 auctions, Pat Cummins was bought by KKR for a whopping 15.5 crore rupees. Currently ranked No. 1 in ICC test bowler rankings, and in top 5 on the ODI bowlers list, Cummins has yet to prove himself in T20s. Cummins was the vice-captain when Australia, for the first time, lost a series against India, at home, in the 2018-2019 season. Michael Clarke had accused the team of going soft on Kohli, and `sucking up? to him. During the series, Cummins had scalped Kohli thrice in the series, emerging as his nemesis. This year's IPL will surely flare up the old rivalry.(UNI)
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